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A systems perspective on markets – Toward a research agenda

Stephen L. Vargo, Kaisa Koskela-Huotari, Steve Baron, Bo Edvardsson, Javier Reynoso and Maria Colurcio

Journal of Business Research, 2017, vol. 79, issue C, 260-268

Abstract: This paper addresses the implications of an emerging, increasingly important way of thinking about markets: systems thinking. A market is one of the most founational abstractions in marketing and business research; yet, it often receives too little attention. As a result, the taken-for-granted assumptions about markets spur from over-simplified conceptualizations of neoclassical economics that depict markets as static and mechanistic. Systems thinking represents a major change in perspective that involves transcending this mechanistic worldview and thinking instead in terms of wholes, relationships, processes, and patterns. We argue that building a theory of markets based on systems thinking, would enable scholars to develop more realistic models that correspond with fast-changing business environment and therefore, increase both the rigor and relevance of future research. To further this aim, we identify the main implications of systems thinking and formulate them into a research agenda to further the systemic understanding of markets.

Keywords: Markets; Systems thinking; Marketing; Complex systems; Research agenda (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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